28 Brilliant Books To Read in 2018
It's the New Year! And I'm sure you all have a list of resolutions in your new 2018 diaries - exercise more, eat less, be the best version of you
It’s the New Year! And I’m sure you all have a list of resolutions in your new 2018 diaries – exercise more, eat less, be the best version of you… yadda yadda yadda. But what about making a resolution that’s achievable, something you can do all-year-round, without the guilt of not making it to the gym on Monday, or eating a doughnut in the office on Thursday. This year, I decided to make resolutions I knew I could stick to and that would still make me be the best version of myself… without having to blitz 40 mph on a cross-trainer. And that is to read more. Ok, so it’s not exercising, but it’s still an investment in myself – for my mind and my education – and it’s the best way to spend more time with me, switched off from the rest of the world. So, for anyone who’s with me, I’ve compiled a list of 28 books to read in 2018 (in no particular order). I guess we could call this our little booket list… get it? Ok, moving on…
1. Fearne Cotton – Calm
Who better to take calming life lessons from than the beautiful, hard-working, yogi mum, Fearne Cotton? Correct me if I’m wrong, but she seems to be one woman who has her shit together. This book offers readers expert advice on keeping your cool along with easy activities, like writing a cosmic wish list for the year. Fearne also shares her calming playlist and lots of cute biro sketches – a simple and effective combination to reach our inner calm.
2. Chloe Benjamin – The Immoralists
‘If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?’
Author of The Anatomy of Dreams, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Chloe Benjamin explores reality and fantasy, science and immortality in this thought-provoking novel.
3. Stylist’s Life Lessons From Remarkable Women
So Stylist has brought our their first book! Well, it’s not available until 1st March, but once you’ve finished book number one, then it’s probably time to hit this one up. Life Lesson’s From Remarkable Women is exactly what it says on the
tin cover. Fabulous women from all walks of life address the challenges they face every day, and yet still remain seriously kick-ass. It’s a book you’re not going to want to miss; maybe it’s best to pre-order now?!
4. Gail Honeyman – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Endearing and intelligent, this coming-of-age tale should be at the top of everyone’s to-read list. At some point, we can probably all relate to Eleanor Oliphant – she’s witty, weird and wonderful, set in her own ways, and very much a bit of a loner. Haven’t we all been there? But girl meets boy and her life unfolds… but not in the way you’d expect.
5. Roxane Gay – Bad Feminist
I’m sure we’ve all questioned at some point in our lives, am I a feminist? And am I a good feminist? What does it even mean to be a feminist today? What can I do more of? Well, through various essays, Roxane Gay humorously talks us through growing and reaching womanhood, while looking at – and questioning – feminist issues that we face today. It’s a book to make you feel better, even if you have been the worst feminist.
6. Meg Wolizter – The Female Persuasion
From the New York Times bestselling author, Meg Wolitzer, The Female Persuasion is about love, ambition, inspiration, and exciting life choices that we all come face to face with. Greer, the protagonist, is like any other freshman – with a dream to be the best she can be, and a vision to go far. And when she meets Faith Frank everything comes together, but not as she’d planned.
7. Chelsea Fagan – The Financial Diet
Another resolution of mine was to be more financially savvy. Like going to the gym (and reading more) I’m sure it’s somewhere on your list too. Because let’s face it, we’re all skint. Thankfully, Chelsea Fagan has penned The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money. Hoorah! Fagan guides us, non-financial experts, on how to be smarter with money and deal with credit. Pass me it now!
8. Zadie Smith – Swing Time
Swing Time was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 award and shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle award 2017, so we know it’s going to be a goodie. It’s a tale of two girls, both with the same dream – to become dancers. From north-west London to West Africa, Smith takes us on a journey of hope, friendship, music, identity, race and class in this moving and energetic story.
9. Katherine Arden – The Bear and The Nightingale
Voted Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book 2017, The Bear and the Nightingale is a twist on Russian folklore and tells stories of sorcery, old magic, spirits and growing forces. Enchanting from the offset, Katherin Arden has mastered the modern-day, literary fairy tale.
10. Katherine Arden – The Girl in the Tower
The Girl in the Tower is the second part of The Winternight Trilogy, to which The Bear and the Nightingale proceeded. It’s just as eloquent as the first, just as splendid to read, and a perfect book to cosy up to with a blanket and cup of tea in hand. Hopefully, it’ll be raining outside for some added ambiance…
11. Ruth Hogan – The Keeper of Lost Things
Anthony has spent half of his life collecting lost things with a sole mission to return them to their rightful owner. But when his time comes to an end, he puts his faith in the capable hands of his assistant, Laura. However, like all brilliant novels, there’s a twist, and Laura must face a series of unforeseen events.
12. Fearne Cotton – Happy
‘Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect’ – that sentence alone makes me feel relieved from stress, anxiety, and woes. And that’s exactly what Fearne had in mind when she wrote Happy. Like Calm, this book guides you back to a place of peace and pleasure, helping you rediscover what brings you the most happiness in the world. So put away your phone, grab a pen, and get creative with this self-help journal.
13. Tim Marshall – Prisoner’s of Geography
It’s not all fancy florals here, Tim Marshall’s Prisoner’s of Geography tells you everything you need to know about why the world is the way it is, why we go to war, and why leaders are forced to make certain decisions based on their country’s geographical position. Their choices are limited because of rivers, mountains, and deserts, and if you don’t understand the geography, you’ll never understand the people.
14. Jodi Picoult – Small Great Things
Jodi Picoult explores race in contemporary America when one white supremacist family in labour doesn’t want Ruth, an African-American nurse, to care for their newborn. But when the baby goes in to cardiac arrest, does Ruth obey hospital orders or does she intervene? As we know from My Sister’s Keeper and The Storyteller, Picoult knows how to capture her readers through gripping, heartfelt story-lines, and relatable characters. And she does just that in Small Great Things.
15. Tom Hanks – Uncommon Type
Fun fact about me: I met Tom Hanks on a ski-lift. But that’s another story for another time…
Fun fact about Tom: he’s an avid collector of vintage typewriters, and has over 100 of them.
Uncommon Type is made up of 17 individual stories written by Mr. Hanks on different typewriters – each captivating, pleasant and enjoyable, a wonderful rainy-day read.
16. Yaa Gyasi – Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel, Homegoing, won her the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for the best first book, which says an awful lot for what to expect. She’s undeniably a remarkable writer, and Homegoing is perfectly orchestrated with different-yet-linked story-lines spanning 300 years of Ghana. A stunning and breathtaking piece of contemporary fiction.
17. Ilka Heinemann – 101 Things to Do Instead of Playing on Your Phone
Another resolution perhaps? I think it’s time we all took a step back and just started thinking a little bit more instead of idly gawking at our phone screens like some brainwashed robot. Do you not think? This book contains very cute tasks to do instead of sitting on your phone. For example: ‘smile at someone, see if they smile back’. Go on, give it a go.
18. Leila Slimani – Lullaby
We all love a good thriller – a true page-turner that will have us gasping, perched on the edge of our chair or sat upright in bed with no hope of drifting to sleep. Well, Lullaby is all of this and more. Louise is the perfect nanny… or is she? Every parents’ worst nightmare comes true in this psychological thriller of jealousy, resentment and a desperate need for belonging.
19. Giovanna Fletcher – Some Kind of Wonderful
If this was a film, it’d be the perfect get-together-with-your-friends type movie… the ultimate chick-flick. Some Kind of Wonderful is about a young girl, Lizzy, and her life after a break-up with her boyfriend of 10 years. A what was a meant-to-be romantic trip to Dubai turns into an adventure of self-discovery. I promise you’ll be shouting ‘atta girl!’
20. Mary Beard – Women & Power (A Manifesto)
Described as a ‘modern feminist classic’, Mary outlines misogyny today and its roots and why history his mistreated women since time began. Riveting, educational and person, Mary Beard questions how we define sexism while taking us through her own experiences.
21. Naomi Klein – No Is Not Enough
Journalist, author, activist, Naomi Klein guides her readers through an unbearable – and kind of unreal – political moment of Trump’s takeover of the White House. Klein invested heavily in studying political shocks and climate change to bring us this timely and much-needed book.
22. Anthony Horowitz – Magpie Murder
Another one for the crime and thriller lovers. Magpie Murders, written by Anthony Horowitz, is the Sunday Times bestseller and Agatha Christieesque mystery that will have you asking questions from the first few pages. Brilliantly written, and cleverly devised, it’s an exceptional pastiche of a small-village whodunit.
23. Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express
Which takes us nicely on to our next book. From the reigning queen of crime – Agatha Christie. Once again, Murder on the Orient Express hit our screens at the end of 2017, so what better time than now to revisit this chilling, murder mystery? A classic whodunit, Murder on the Orient Express is a novel that you can fully bite your teeth in to.
24. Naomi Alderman – The Power
If you’re into dystopian fiction, then this is right up your street. The Power by Naomi Alderman uncovers a time where women are evolving to become the dominant gender. Electrical currents the come from the fingers of women cause their lives to completely turn around. It’s said to soon become a major TV series, so read it now for the full effect.
25. Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
Ready Player One has Black Mirror vibes all over it. Another sci-fi, dystopian novel, Ernest Cline explores the year 2044, where the world is unsurprisingly a dark and depressing place. The OASIS is a virtual utopia where people can be whatever they want to be – but when the founder dies with no heir and promises his fortune to whoever can solve the riddle in his game, the world is in a desperate race to claim the prize. This is one book I’m mega excited to read, especially before Steven Spielberg’s adaptation is released on 29th March.
26. Arundhati Roy – The God of Small Things
Indian writer Arundhati Roy won the Booker Prize for this fascinating tale of family and love, heartbreak and anguish.It’s a stunning, well-told, semi-autobiographical book, expertly written flashing between memories and present time.
27. Paulo Coelho – Alchemist
This is by far one of my favourite covers, it’s so beautiful and enchanting, just like what’s inside. Paulo Coelho takes us on a magical journey with his protagonist, Santiago, in search of worldly treasures after a recurring dream takes him to the pyramids of Egypt.
28. Matt Haig – How To Stop Time
Tom may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but in fact, due to a rare condition, he’s been around for 400 years. How To Stop Time is a bittersweet book about finding yourself and about the certainty of change in every day.
Cover photo by the marvelous Shauna Luckett Design.